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Re: GNU License and Computer Break Ins

Richard Stallman wrote:
> The GPL is about establishing and defending the freedom to share and
> change published software--about respecting community and
> cooperation.  The way to respect a program, whoever has worked on it
> so far, is to share it, improve it, and leave it better than you
> found it.

I agree with you and think this is an honorable things to do when the
author wishes it.  I cannot agree that disrespecting an author's wishes
is the way to respect the author's program.

If pressed, I will break.  At some point, technology should fall into
the public domain or a GPL-like public domain even against an author's
wishes, but people have already reached this tradeoff.

>     >  After all, it's your work. Of all the people in the world,
>     > you should have the largest say regarding how your work is
>     > used.
> Of all the people in the world, the one who should have the largest
> say in how you use a program is you; after all, it's your life.

With all due respect, I just don't believe I am the center of any
universe, especially one created by someone else (unless they
voluntarily put me in that position).

Do I read you and others correctly?  Is the GPL a strategy designed to
basically reduce the time to zero between when an author publishes and
when the work falls into a GPL-like public domain?  (Much like the use
of proprietary operating systems was a strategy when the GNU Project
first started.)

If so, I consider myself a reasonably diligent person, and I consider
other people on this list to be more diligent than myself.  Yet, some of
us missed this rather critical piece of information.  In my case, I
missed it for years.  Of course, there were a good number who understood
already, but for the benefit of the rest of use, I would recommend an
addition to the GPL's preamble so that this bit of information is as
widely distributed as the GPL.

For example, "While using the GPL is a volitional act and takes
advantage of current copyright laws, the ultimate goal is to undermine
copyright law to such an extent that the GPL will no longer be necessary
as all software will then be free."

Paul Serice

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